Wednesday, November 4

Activision sets out to educate parents

In an attempt to educate Parents about the ESRB rating system Activision is kicking off a new corporate initiative called "Ratings are not a game". So far, a three part series of videos that are supposed to educate parents about the ESRB system as well as give tips on how to use games for problem solving skills and which games are appropriate for what group of people.

With the ongoing media battles over the last decade about the impact of games it would seem many companies are making concerted efforts to inform parents of their own responsibility to monitor their children's intake of media. Common sense would dictate that if a game has an M rating its probably not suitable for a 5 yr. old but the industry probably still has a few years left of dealing with uneducated consumers regarding our medium. I say this because if you think of the evolution of gaming a large percentage of people in their late 30,s and 40,s still view games as kids fare because the only games they ever played were coin opps an Nintendo type kid fare. We are however coming to a point where the majority of the population will have at some point been exposed to more mature games do to the inception of the Playstation and the increase in mature content that it brought with it. Those who spent hours in college playing Resident Evil and Metal Gear would it seem have a greater understanding of the content available and what is appropriate for their children then those who the most violent thing they ever saw in a video game was a Mushroom genocide at the hands of 2 pesky Italian brothers.

If your under 18 and begging your parents for MW2 then you might not agree with the efforts Activision and other publishers are taking to better inform your parents of the content of their games. but if your a mature gamer who is tired of your slightly older but less informed peers still thinking gamers are all 12 year old boys than like me you applaud the industry for taking these steps. If we as an industry don't take steps to fix the PR issues this industry has than like in several counties across the globe such as AUS. and China our governments will, and nobody wants that. Just ask all those gamers in AUS. who wont be playing L4D2 on NOV. 17th.
11/04/09 David Allison

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